Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Parabnormal Garden-Variety Wraith

A central character to this reading was the wraith/JOI, which I assume really does exist, because of the great lengths that both it and DFW go through to show that it does (nose hair, PIROUETTE, etc.) It also seems to show up multiple times in the book; when "The Darkness" gets himself frozen to the window he asks Hal about "parabnormal shit" (Page 870) mentioning a figure coming and going also, a few times already we have heard about objects at ETA showing up in the weirdest places for no good reason which for the time being it seems likely to be the JOI wraith's fault. Once again JOI has astounded me. Never have I seen a character who has been dead for the majority of a book have as much influence as him.

Toward the end of this week's reading we also begin to see a weird facial tic developing for Hal, which hints at what was happening in the beginning of the book (I think we've seen a milder form of it before, during the Eschaton debacle, when Hal was feeling his face, I'm not sure). I think someone predicted that the tic was caused by drugs (the DMZ in particular), but now it seems to be becoming more pronounced because Hal has been "Abandoning all Hope".

This might be completely unrelated, but when Hal is considering the etymology of anonymous, he cites the Olde English on-ane, meaning All as One or As One Body, which struck me as sounding suspiciously close to ONAN for what is essentially an arbitrary tangent by Hal. This goes along with what we know about about how ONAN is supposed to work (Interdependence and whatnot) and what Steeply was talking about (where each person chooses what's best for them and this is supposed to lead to maximum well being for all people).


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